Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Citigroup's Bounce

Citigroup has apparently turned a profit [WaPo] in the first two months of the current year. Binyamin Applebaum of the Washington Post has an interesting follow-up article detailing Citigroup's long history of risk-taking.

Question: The market reacted positively to Citigroup's profit news, but how does anyone outside Citigroup know that those profits are sustainable? Prior to last year, Citi profited while engaging in what is now known to be excessively risky transactions. How do we know they're not engaging in even more risky transactions, trying to gamble their way of their current crisis? Even if their January and February profits were legitimate, what risks are they willing to accept to push their stock price even higher? Is anyone at the Fed, SEC, or Treasury Dept. watching this?